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Martyred for the Gospel

Martyred for the Gospel
The burning of Tharchbishop of Cant. D. Tho. Cranmer in the town dich at Oxford, with his hand first thrust into the fyre, wherwith he subscribed before. [Click on the picture to see Cranmer's last words.]

Collect of the Day

The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany.
The Collect.

O LORD, we beseech thee to keep thy Church and household continually in thy true religion; that they who do lean only upon the hope of thy heavenly grace may evermore be defended by thy mighty power; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Daily Bible Verse

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Pighius Tries to "Root" Up the Truth of Unconditional Election: Calvin's Calvinism -Section I

[I love it when I see that the Reformers had a sense of humor.  Notice the pun played on Pighius' name?  He's a "pig" or "hog" who tries to root up the "words of the apostle" :)  You'll notice that Calvin refers to the Roman Catholic Church as a "stinking sty of swine"!]

And yet Pighius, by a senseless cavil, as by a hog's snout, tries to root up these words of the apostle with all their positive plainness of meaning. He replies that the election of grace here means that Jacob had merited no such thing beforehand. But since the apostle commends this electing grace of God on the very ground that while the one was elected, the other was rejected, the vain fiction of Pighius concerning universal grace falls to the ground at once. . . .


. . . he should have me a seconder of his grave admonition, if he would shew to his readers, as the Church, a sheepfold of Christ, and not a stinking sty of swine!

 


  -- John Calvin, Calvin's Calvinism....

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The apostle places before us the two sons of Isaac, who, when begotten together in the secret and sacred womb of nature, as in a temple of God, as it were, were nevertheless, while in the womb together, separated by the oracular word of God to an entirely different destiny. Now the apostle assigns the cause of this difference (which otherwise might have been sought in the merits of the lives of these two children) to the hidden counsel of God: "That the counsel of God might stand." We here distinctly learn that it was determined of God to choose one only out of these two children. And yet Pighius, by a senseless cavil, as by a hog's snout, tries to root up these words of the apostle with all their positive plainness of meaning. He replies that the election of grace here means that Jacob had merited no such thing beforehand. But since the apostle commends this electing grace of God on the very ground that while the one was elected, the other was rejected, the vain fiction of Pighius concerning universal grace falls to the ground at once. The apostle does not here simply say that Jacob was appointed heir of life, that the election of God might stand, but that his brother being rejected, his brother's birthright was conferred on him. I am fully aware of what some other dogs here bark out, and what are the murmurings of many ignorant persons, that the testimonies of the apostle which we have cited do not treat of eternal life, nor of eternal destruction, at all. But if such objectors held the true principles of theology in any degree (which ought to be well known by all Christian men), they would express their sentiments with a little less confidence and insolence. For the answer of God to Rebecca's complaint was designed to shew her that the issue of the struggling which she felt in her womb would be that the blessing of God and the covenant of eternal life would rest with the younger. And what did the struggling itself signify, but that both the children could not be heirs of the covenant at the same time, which covenant had already, by the secret council of God, been decreed for the one?

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 And not only this (saith the apostle), but when Rebecca also had conceived by one (embrace), even by our father Isaac (for the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of Him that calleth), it was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. As it is written. Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated" (Rom. ix. 10). 

Pighius would slide away under the excuse that this is one of the most difficult places of Scripture. And suppose I concede this; I do not thereby acknowledge that his impious barking is to be endured, when he boastingly asserts that it is a labyrinth in which no straight way can be found. What! are we to suppose that the Holy Spirit, speaking by the mouth of the apostle, went out of His way or lost Himself, so as to lead us aside and beyond what it is useful or proper for us to know?

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Our very modest (!) opponent adds, "This is one of the portions of Scripture which unlearned and unstable persons corrupt to their own destruction." Now this is the very fact which, by the plainest proof, he forces us to declare concerning himself, so lawlessly does he twist and pervert the whole context of the Apostle Paul. And when he exhorts his readers to hold themselves obedient to the Church, in the interpretation of all such difficult passages of Scripture, he should have me a seconder of his grave admonition, if he would shew to his readers, as the Church, a sheepfold of Christ, and not a stinking sty of swine! For which is Pighius' Church but that vortex, formed of the congregated mass of all iniquities, and ever filling, but not yet full, of every kind of error?

Calvin's Calvinism -Section I

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